RU co-founder and multi-published author Adrienne Giordano talks about instinct and learning to trust ourselves.
Welcome back, Adrienne!
Miriam-Webster definition of instincts:
1: a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity (had an instinct for the right word).
a: a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason.
b: behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level.
As writers, we constantly have to tap into our creative side. Let’s face it, the books don’t get written without us being creative. There’s nothing easy about writing a book, we all know that. And then when we type THE END there’s a moment of deep satisfaction that only a writer who has completed a book knows.
Then we have to turn our book loose on the world. Whatever road to publishing we choose, as writers we have decisions to make. Sometimes there are so many choices we don’t know which way to go, and in a business that is brutally hard, the decisions become more confusing.
I have come to believe that trusting our instincts, no matter how crazy they might seem, can be pivotal. In my case, sometimes trusting my instincts seems to be the only logical choice. After all, no one wants my books to succeed more than I do. There are certainly people invested, but they haven’t lost sleep trying to find the exact word needed to finish a sentence or stared at the computer for hours wondering if the story is a piece of crap. Other people, no matter who they are, simply don’t have the passion for my books that I do. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
Two years ago, I finished a romantic mystery, which was a new genre for me, but the story wouldn’t leave me and I simply had to write it. I loved every second of writing that story. It was light and fun and the characters made me laugh and each day I’d figure out some new way to make the heroine’s brother more irritating. I was actually sad when I finished it.
So, here I was with a romantic mystery to shop when I’d just had the debut of my romantic suspense series. At that point, I wasn’t agented and sent the book to a few agents and editors. The response was always the same. The book I loved so much would be a nightmare to market. No one knew what to do with it. Would it be shelved under romance or mystery? It’s not really a cozy, but it’s…it’s…what?
I considered indie pubbing the book, but was also swamped with edits and writing the next books in my Private Protectors series. For whatever reason, my instincts—that place down deep that ignores the chaos happening in my brain—told me to hold onto the romantic mystery.
To let it sit.
It sat for six months until I signed with an agent who loved it. A year later, we’d still not found a home for my romantic mystery. I was crushed. At the same time, I didn’t panic. We hadn’t queried all that many houses and the indie pubbing explosion was in full swing. I knew from editor feedback that I had a solid book, so I felt fairly certain I’d see this book published at some point.
Again, I considered indie publishing, but my instincts told me to wait. Which was more than a bit frustrating because I wanted to unleash my baby. I was ready. Nope, my instincts told me. Not my time.
I set the book aside. I didn’t know what I was waiting for, but I sure hoped it would be something good.
Another six months went by before I received an email from my friend and amazing supporter Dianna Love. I will never forget the moment I opened that email. I was sitting in my car getting ready to watch my son play in a baseball tournament and took a second to read the email on my phone. Dianna wanted to know if I had a book that would fit into an indie pubbed romantic suspense/mystery boxed set.
Did I have a book? Did I have a book?
I sure did.
I sat there, my head resting against the seat feeling tremendous relief. If you know anything about Dianna Love, you know she’s a force. She’s a sharp, savvy business woman and I knew working with her on this boxed set would be an incredible career opportunity for me. This was the moment my instincts knew would come.
There I sat, reading the email for the tenth time to make sure I understood (that’s what I do when I’m freaking out) and guess what? I burst into tears. Literally. For two years, I’d wanted so badly to see this book published that I drove myself crazy contemplating options. Should I indie pub? Should I send it to a digital publisher? Should I try smaller presses? I never knew the answer. All I knew was my instincts kept telling me to wait. And I’m so thrilled I did.
I’m not suggesting we all sit on our manuscripts waiting for the world’s greatest opportunity to present itself. That won’t get a book published. What I am suggesting though is that when our subconscious is not just whispering, but screaming at us, perhaps we should trust ourselves and listen.
RU Crew, have you ever made a risky decisions based on instinct?
Author and blogger Janice Hardy joins us on Wednesday, August 21st.
Bio:USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier).
She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. For more information on Adrienne’s books, please visit www.AdrienneGiordano.com or download the Adrienne Giordano app. Adrienne can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. For information on Adrienne’s street team, Dangerous Darlings, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/dangerousdarlings.
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